NFL veteran safety Patrick Chung is retiring from the NFL, after Chung opted out of the 2020 NFL season. Chung was an anchor on the Patriots‘ secondary and defense during his two stints with the team, from 2009-2012 and 2014-2019. He was expected to return, along with Dont’a Hightower, to a Patriots team that has been very active in free agency.
Chung has been a staple of the team’s secondary ever since he began his time in New England. Proving himself during his rookie year in 2009, he became the full-time starter at safety. He helped the Patriots win three super bowls during his years strapping up for the red, white, and blue. He racked up 11 interceptions throughout his career, ranking 29th on the Patriots’ all-time leaderboard.
Patrick Chung said this in his retirement post on Instagram:
“I want to say thank you to the Patriots organization, my family, my fans, coaches, just everyone. I’m in tears writing this but I’ve decided to hang up the cleats. Bill, Mr. Kraft (mean mug) thank you for giving me the opportunity to play for your team for 11 years, I love you. Bill for teaching me life on and off the field, I will not forget that. To my teammates, trainers, EQ team, video guys, meal room employees, janitors, etc. I love you guys and ladies. Thank you for being the rock to the organization. For cleaning up, feeding, taking care of me for 11 years. You will forever be my family. But it’s time to start a new life. Patriot until I die!! Love you all.”
Chung, 32, one of the core pieces of the Patriots’ three most recent super bowls, will deeply be missed on the team, but cherished as one of the most important players over the franchise’s last decade, as the beloved NFL veteran moves on to the next stage of his life.